Every week in the news is a story about a careless driver hitting a pedestrian. Pedestrian accidents are common, especially in congested cites and suburbs. These accidents often leave the pedestrian with serious injuries. Even in low speed accidents, where the pedestrian is able to get right back up, the injuries and the trauma can last days, weeks, or even years.
People don’t always realize that they can get paid for their injuries after getting hit by a car.
Who is at Fault in Pedestrian Accidents?
The rules that govern pedestrian accidents are the same ones that rule most personal injury claims. If someone was negligent in their actions and their negligence caused your injury or other damages, you can sue and recover compensation from the negligent driver.
Just because someone was hit by a car does not automatically mean they will be able to get paid for their injuries, pain, and suffering. The victim will still have to prove both that that the driver of the car was negligent and that they caused the damages to the victim.
If a pedestrian simply runs into the street without looking, and the driver has no chance to complexly stop, the driver of the car may not be negligent.
Because drivers usually owe a higher duty to pedestrians, in pedestrian accidents, the drivers of cars are usually found to be at fault when a person is hit.
The issue of fault is vital to a successful claim. In many states if a pedestrian is found to be at fault, or even partly at fault, they may have their compensation reduced, or they may even not receive any payment for their claim.
How Do You Start a Claim?
When a driver hits a pedestrian there are required to exchange insurance information, just the same as if two cars were involved. The claim is filed with the driver’s car insurance company.
Filing a claim is an important part of the process. Anything you tell the insurance company will be used to determine the value of your claim. Before talking to an insurance company about your injuries, or anything having to do with the accident, you should consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer with experience handling pedestrian accidents.
The process will be more complicated if you do not have the driver’s insurance information, or if the driver fled the scene. However, these are not absolute roadblocks to getting paid for your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you investigate your case and get the information you need.
What If There Was No Crosswalk?
Crosswalk accidents are usually the most clear cut type of pedestrian accident. However, just because there was no crosswalk, does not mean a driver can run you down.
Every case is different, and you need an expert to evaluate all of the different factors. However, pedestrians crossing the street, even when not in a crosswalk, should still be given the right of way. Personal injury laws are complicated and each state has their own unique spin.
Consult with an attorney to determine if you have a case of not.
Getting Medical Care
The most critical thing in any accident is to get medical care right away. You only have one body, and you need to take care of it. Many people worry about getting stuck with medical bills. If you have health insurance, much of the initial costs of treatment should be covered.
If you make a claim against the driver you can get compensated for out of pocket medical expense.
Many states also require that all car insurance polices have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provision. This means that the car insurance will pay for medical care, regardless of who is at fault for the accident for a limited period of time, subject to a cap. In many states PIP coverage applies to pedestrians. This means even though you were walking when the accident happened, your car insurance may still pay your medical bills.
In other states the other driver’s PIP coverage will pay your medical bills up front, even before any claim is finalized.
The cost of getting hurt often goes far beyond just medical bills. You may have to miss work. If you don’t have any sick or vacation time, you could miss out on a lot of money. Before you decide to go back to work against doctor’s orders, you need to look again at your state’s PIP laws. The PIP coverage in your car insurance policy may also pay for your missed wages for a short amount of time.
Ultimately, any missed wages should be recovered from the insurance company of the at fault driver. This would include compensation for using vacation or sick time to deal with the injuries suffered by getting hit by a car.
Pedestrian accidents can be scary. But, don’t let the insurance companies scare you away from getting the compensation you are legally entitled to. Let us help you find a lawyer to take your case and fight for your rights.